A Teenager's View on Various Motorsports of Today
What does a teenager think of motorsports?
I love many things, but two stand out in my mind; cars and competition. I'm a swimmer, and I don't want to toot my own horn, but a good swimmer. Swimming is racing, it sounds dumb when it is just... said, but that's simply what it is. So naturally when I discovered the amazing world of cars, I fell in love with motorsports. I had been exposed to some motorsport before I really became in love with cars. Various memories include visiting the Pocono Mountains and being near the Pocono Raceway, watching an F1 race coming back from Disney World, flying over the Daytona 500, and of course (me being a man of culture) the "CARS" movies. Formula One was my first true exposure to motorsport, thanks to Top Gear and watching Lewis Hamilton go around the track. I started watching Formula One in 2017 at the start of the season after watching every single highlights video of the 2016 season in the off season. I was hooked. Lewis Hamilton became one of my favorites and now the three (no longer rookies) of this year and Charles Leclerc becoming some of my favorites. Who am I kidding I loved the 2019 grid... minus Haas (says the American). I also fell in love with.... Formula E. WHY? HOW? WHAT?, i'll tell you. I have attended three motorsport events, all of which being the NYC EPrix. I had my doubts about Formula E but the second I got to the track I was hooked and watching the series progress has been great. This year having the opportunity to be at the track on the press day and get access to the pitlane, simulators, and getting to meet the drivers, I can't complain. The racing is great, and I don't care if they are electric, the cars seem like they are going lightspeed around the tight tracks and honestly sound... great. They sound 100 times better in person, trust me. I also hope to attend the Canadian Grand Prix this F1 season. Enough of the general though, you are reading this to know my true opinions and that is what I will give you.
Ah yes, the pinnacle of motorsport. The fastest, advanced, historical, and cut throat sport of them all. Being a Formula One fan is interesting for me. I am American, so finding another fan is quite hard, but all of us who are (the few) are hardcore fans. Compared to others, I'm a new fan. 2020 will be my fourth season watched live, but thanks to good ol' F1 TV, I've watched every race since 2010. I love the speed, more then anything. I love the friendship and rivalries and the politics involved in the sport. Me personally, I'm a big fan of drivers such as Lewis Hamilton, Charles Leclerc, Daniel Ricciardo, Lando Norris, Alex Albon and George Russel. I also love Mclaren, Ferrari, and Red Bull, in concept. Mercedes, wellllllllll. Yes, but no. I love the action and Hamilton, but it is boring watching them only win (proceeds to get flashbacks from the 1-2's of the first 8 races). I also want to touch upon the cars, where to start. There fast, stupidly fast, mind bendingly fast, but they suck. They aren't good looking (minus the Alfa), sorry, they are not. They are are also over engineered. Designers and engineers don't care about the fans and how good the racing is, they want to go fast no matter the cost, and that's fine. The whole idea behind the 2017 rule change which started our problems was to make these cars extremely fast, and it worked! Now, I couldn't care how fast they are, I want good racing. The 2021 cars are answering my prayers. They are jaw droppingly good looking, I see a mix of 2019 car, Indycar and Super Formula car. They also SHOULD, emphasis on the should, race well. THAT IS GREAT. FANS NEED THAT, I don't care about the speed decrease. I also love the new image F1 is trying to take. The new logos, new promotions, the F1 Live events, are all steps into the right direction to take. What isn't a step in the right direction is taking away good, historic races and replacing them with new city center races. Losing Hockenheim is a sad thing for the sport, especially after providing one of the most exciting and nail biting races of the decade if not of all time. Vietnam, well, doesn't look great. Miami, I'm not sure, I'm excited because that's a race in my own country I can go to relatively easily, but it doesn't look like the track will provide much action. I'd also like to finish this part off by saying, Williams, get it together.
Hold the groans and sighs please. As you already know, I like Formula E, a lot actually. I was first really exposed to it when I saw the Jaguar 2017 entry at NYIAS and then saw a billboard for the race in Brooklyn. I instantly bought tickets for the race and waited for July 15th to roll around. When it came I was so excited, my first ever race. You can tell I have some attachment to the series. The first race was great with the track being very fast, the second year came. even better racing, and then the third year, the most recent, the best one. This race is regarded as one of the best in Formula E history and my favorite. The day before the race I'm leaving my practice at 8am and I get a call from my friend on the Cooper Union Formula SAE team saying, "I have VIP tickets for the press day, I can bring one guest, wanna come?". Instantly I said yes and we made the ridiculous trip from where I live to Red Hook Brooklyn. That day I got a tour of the pitlane, simulator access, and the coolest part, a chance to meet drivers such as Sam Bird, Felipe Massa, and one of my all time favorites, Jean-Eric Vergne. Race day came, me and my dad got their very early. We want to experience everything. We watched every practice session, qualifying and hotlap, it was great. We also didn't have grandstand tickets(I'll explain why with my problem with Formula E). All the tickets sold out in the first day of them being up, so we were posted up trackside along the turn 7 straight-ish. The cars would break for the 90 degree left right in front of us from breaking at 140 mph. After standing in the 95 degree NYC summer heat, a representative I met the day before came over to us and offered us free grandstand tickets right next to us. We had the best view from the grandstands, and the racing was amazing. You can watch the rest on TV. That's enough story time, now onto my problem, why we didn't get grandstand tickets. Formula E is attracting celebrities, and this race bein in New York also attracts a lot of rich people, to serve them, their were three VIP track side lounges. One where the old pitlane was, one on one straight and another also in the old pitlane. These tickets are thousands of dollars or invite only. These lounges take up space, notice how I said old pitlane? They moved it, to where a QUARTER MILE LONG GRANDSTAND USED TO BE. That eliminated thousands of seats for regular attendants, this also put the pitlane in a bad spot and eliminated the the idea of pitlane walk throughs which are common place at these events. Formula E is focusing too much on extending their image by catering to the people who have influence, not the regular person, and that is sad because those are not the principals the series was founded on.
Endurance racing has a weird spot in my heart, mostly because I don't have a long attention span. However, WEC has really been gaining my attention recently, mostly because of the future. I love LMP1 cars, they are insane, so fast, so cool, but this season I was let down, along with last season, because their is always been THAT dominant team. LMP2, I'm sorry I couldn't care less, and GTE and GT AM have always have caught my attention with their tight battles and overall cool factor. I also am very excited for the upcoming Hypercar class. It is so exciting to me to see "roadlike" cars racing at almost LMP1 speed around race tracks. The idea of seeing Mclarens, Glickenhaus' (my local team, they follow me on insta not to flex), Aston Martins, Toyotas, and more excites me so much. I also like WEC because my favorite track in the world. Circuit du La Sarthe, Le Mans. The other WEC races, don't excite me as much. Le Mans is just, so good, nothing compares in my mind, and for me that's a shame.
Time to bring in my true, FREEDOM IN MY BLOOD, BALD EAGLES AS PETS AMERICAN SELF! I love Indy Car. The racing is great, the car's look great and I love the tracks. The Indy 500 is one of my favorite races. Hours of nonstop action and nail biting finishes. Other races I love too of course. Indy car can do things other series can't, they can get street circuit's right. I love Long Beach and St. Petersburg. There are some thing's I don't like though. I'm used to Formula One first and for most. So 20 drivers, 10 teams, same liveries for all the cars on the team and 2 cars. Indy Car is not like that, changing lineups, different liveries for each driver and sometimes race to race, more teams and drivers in the Indy 500, it's confusing at times. Also this isn't a problem at all I just want to address it. The Aeroscreen. It's fine. I'm all for driver safety, I never really opposed the halo even though it ruins the front of cars, but it has already saved several lives. The Aeroscreen, is very different, 'cause, its a windshield. It offers protection the halo can not and I think that is good, great actually. Like the halo though, from the front it doesn't look great, it looks... fat. From the side..... it is SO COOL. I looks like a fighter jet cockpit! Watching the shakedown video from Mclaren (I'm so happy they are in Indy) the look of the car going by with the Aeroscreen was great. Yes there have been some issues with it, but overall fan and driver feedback has been good.
What did I miss?
There is a lot I did not touch upon obviously. I didn't touch upon WRC and RX, something I adore. Also, NASCAR (I'm sorry, as an American I have sinned), I'm not a huge fan, I watch the Daytona 500 and that's about it. IMSA, welllllll, it's fine. It's the ELMS of America, and DPi cars are cool. Other then that, I don't watch it much because I'd prefer to watch other things. Will I talk about these series in the future? Maybe.